Julie is an Oral Bible Storyteller (OBS) and trainer in Papua New Guinea. Besides serving in her own language community, she reaches out to other language communities in the country to do OBS training. Julie is also part of the Maiwala translation project team as a back translator, translating drafted vernacular Scripture into a language a translation consultant understands.

Julie talked about a time in her life when she almost gave up when her younger sister died of cervical cancer at the age of 32, leaving behind three young children and her husband. That time was a heartbreaking and challenging period for her as she watched her sister struggle through cancer. She recalled the many questions she threw at God. “What can I do? Why is this happening? I am alone! Where are you?”

She sought out solutions to her questions, but God seemed to be silent in spite of her cries. Out of this deep darkness she experienced the amazing light of God shining through as she began to open her heart and invite the Lord to walk with her in this situation. She prayed, “Lord, hold my hand and help me walk with you in this difficult time.” She now testifies of God’s faithfulness and how by his grace she continues to care for her sister’s children (Psalms 57:10). She looks back to this time of great pain as a time of greater leaning into God. She would have given up, but through the experience she grew stronger and more resilient in her walk with God. She praises and thanks the Lord for allowing her to be part of the team in bringing the Word of God to her people.

On 23 June 2021, the Maiwala translation project team saw their first book, the Gospel of Mark, launched after many years of struggles and setbacks. The Maiwala project in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea began in 1999. Today, the Maiwala community faces a lot of problems with local security issues. During these times, the Word of God is bringing hope and light to those engaging with it. With tears streaming from her eyes, one Maiwala woman expressed her thankfulness in having the Mark’s Gospel. “I keep this book close to my heart and thank God for the translation project in my community.” A Maiwala man said that as he reads, the Gospel of Mark in Maiwala speaks to him and brings change into many areas of his life.

Praise the Lord for the ongoing progress in Maiwala Bible translation.

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